Turkish-backed Armed Groups Announce Capture of Syria's Al-Bab from ISIL

Turkish-backed Armed Groups Announce Capture of Syria's Al-Bab from ISIL

Turkish-backed Armed Groups Announce Capture of Syria's Al-Bab from ISIL

Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army forces have taken control of all neighborhoods in Syria's Al-Bab, Turkish military said Friday. More recently, Turkey has also indicated they'd attack ISIS Raqqa, but such a move is going to take them past Manbij at any rate, risking more fighting.

Sousian is behind rebel lines about 8 km (5 miles) northwest of al-Bab, around which Ankara has long supported the formation of a security zone it says would help to stem a wave of migration via Turkey into Europe. Al-Tawil, who was at the security office at the time of the explosion, said the rest of the casualties were civilians from al-Bab.

Questions linger about where the Turkey-backed rebel force will head next.

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Security sources in Syria say more than 40 people including 35 civilians have been killed by an ISIL vehicle bomb near al-Bab.

"These people have suffered a lot", al-Tawil told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Sousian.

It had earlier said that 42 people, mainly rebels, had died, but later clarified to say the majority of those killed were civilians.

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On Thursday rebels said Isis militants had pulled out of al-Bab - the group's last town in Aleppo province - after weeks of bitter siege and street fighting.

The targetted areas are part of Deir Ezzor province east of Syria, which has been under Daesh control since 2014, except small areas held by regime forces.

Turkey has sought for months to clear ISIS forces from near its border and al-Bab has remained a prime target for military operations.

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The campaign to liberate al-Bab proved to be one of the bloodiest in Turkey's campaign in Syria, with at least 69 Turkish soldiers killed there. The military said clean-up work regarding obstacles, mines and hand-made explosives was ongoing. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım acknowledged the incident while speaking to reporters outside a mosque in Ankara after prayers on February 24.

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